Celie's Emancipation Process

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The People‘s Democratic Republic of Algeria
Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research
Mentouri University, Constantine
Faculty of Letters and Languages
Department of English

Celie’s Emancipation Process in Alice Walker’s
The Color Purple

A dissertation submitted to the Department of English in partial fulfillment for the Degree of Master in British and American studies
By
Miss BAGA Amira
Supervised by:
Mr. BOUGHENOUT Hamoudi
June 2010
i

Don't wait around for other people to be happy for you.
Any happiness you get you've got to make yourself.
ALICE WALKER

ii

Acknowledgements
Above all, thanks to Almighty God who is my source of wisdom. All glory to Him for granting me the chance and the ability to successfully complete this study. I would like to express my enduring gratitude to my supervisor Mr. BOUGHENOUT for his great help and precious advice.

I would like to thank also my dear parents who never doubted me and always provided me with unwavering moral and emotional support. Thanks to my brothers and sister, my nieces and nephews for their unconditional love. Heartfelt thanks to all the teachers who trained me throughout my education. I am thankful to my faithful friends and all those who supported me along my studies. Special recognition is due to my dearest friend Agsous Amina. Sincere gratitude is herby extended to the staff of CCF library: Hakim Bouchama, Fatiha Bekkar and Sonia Hamadouche who helped me in collecting many of the necessary documentation without which it would not be possible for me to complete this work.

Lastly, I would like to thank everybody who was important to the successful realization of this thesis, as well as expressing my apology that I could not mention them personally one by one.
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Abstract

This study examines the protagonist‘s emancipation process in Alice Walker‘s epistolary novel The Color Purple. Walker does not limit herself in describing the sufferings of African American women but suggests to all women a path to follow in order to free themselves from the evils of patriarchy and sexism. Celie, the protagonist, is able to change her status of a sexually abused slave woman and free herself economically, physically and spiritually. Writing letters to her sister Nettie combined with a sisterhood relationship with her sister Nettie, stepdaughter Sofia and close friend Shug are the key elements in this emancipation process. Celie‘s relationship with these women as well as writing helps Celie to assert her female body, achieve spiritual freedom and gain economic freedom.

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Résumé

Le présent travail vise à analyser le processus d'émancipation entrepris par l‘héroïne du roman épistolaire d‘Alice Walker The Color Purple. Walker ne se limite pas à décrire les souffrances de la femme afro -américaine mais suggère également une voie à suivre afin de se libérer des démons du patriarcat et du sexisme. Celie, l‘héroïne du roman, est en mesure de changer son statut de femme esclave victime d'abus sexuels en une femme émancipée et totalement libérée. L‘écriture, ainsi que la solidarité féminine apportée par Nettie, Shug et Sofia lui permettent d‘assumer son corps de femme, de se libérer spirituellement et d‘assurer par la suite son indépendance économique.

v

‫ملخص‬

‫تٍذف ٌذي انذراست إنّ تحهٕم مسار انتحزر انذْ اتبعتً بطهت انزَأت انزسائهٕت نهكاتبت‬ ‫األفزَأمزٔكٕت ‪ . The Color Purple Alice Walker‬ال تكتف ‪Walker Alice‬‬

‫بُصف معاواة انمزأة األفزَ أمزٔكٕت بم تقتزح أٔضا مىٍجا ٔمكه سهكً مه أجم انتخهص مه‬ ‫انىظاو األبُْ َ انتحزش انجىسٓ . استطاعت سٕهٓ بطهت انزَأت مه تغٕز َضعٕتٍا انمزرٔت‬ ‫مه امزأة عبٕذ متعذِ عهٍٕا جىسٕا إنّ امزأة حزة َ مستقهت. إن كتابت انزسائم إنّ جاوب‬ ‫انتضامه انىسُْ انمقذو مه طزف ‪ Shug , Nettie , Sofia‬ساعذا ‪ Celie‬عهّ تقبم‬ ‫جسذٌا األوثُْ ، مه انتحزر رَحاوٕا َ فٓ األخٕز تحقٕق االستقالل انمادْ.‬

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